Monica Ramey & The Lori Mechem Quartet: A Birthday Toast to Beegie!
In honor of her birthday, Beegie’s longtime friends and musical mates will play some of her favorite songs and the songs we learned from her. We’ll raise a glass and swing a little!
Join Monica Ramey and the Lori Mechem Quartet at the Nashville Jazz Workshop’s Jazz Cave on Saturday, December 9, 2023 for a birthday toast to Beegie Adair! The concert begins at 7:30pm CST (Doors open at 7:00pm).
During her performance, Monica will be accompanied by Lori Mechem on piano, Larry Aberman on drums, Roger Spencer on bass and Andy Reiss on guitar.
LIVE PERFORMANCE TICKETS ($40) – NEW add a charcuterie box on Eventbrite with your ticket, more details.
About Monica Ramey: This kind of reaction is a reoccurring theme in the case of Midwest native Monica Ramey and artists like Michael Feinstein, Beegie Adair, Anthony Wilson, Jeff Coffin, Donna McElroy, Jim Ferguson, Denis Solee, Jeff Steinberg, Lori Mechem, Roger Spencer, George Tidwell and Sandra Dudley are just a few who are singing her praise.
Monica is a native of Francesville, one of Indiana’s smallest towns. The youngest of three children, her father is a retired farmer and her mother a retired music teacher. As a child, Monica would sing and dance on stage with her mother’s high school show choir, and at the age of 3, she stood on the grand piano at the school’s cabaret and performed Tomorrow from the musical, Annie. By the age of 11, she had become well known in Indiana after starring in several local and professional Broadway musical productions. As a teenager, she studied at the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts, and in 1995, Monica was selected to become a member of the GRAMMY National All American High School Jazz Band and Choir.
This break would become one of the most important opportunities in Monica’s life. Being one of 12 selected nationally for the choir, Monica had little jazz experience, but while performing with some of the music industry’s finest, she discovered the impact of jazz music in her own life and in our society. The responsibility all performers have to its preservation and authenticity left a profound and lasting impact on her.
Monica studied Music Performance at Indiana State University and was a member of the ISU Jazz Singers. She became a favorite singer among many faculty members and even the President of the university. This led to many performances at university functions and sporting events. She interned for the NARAS Foundation in Los Angeles, where the preservation of jazz music became a focal point of her responsibilities.
In 2000, she moved to Nashville to pursue her singing career, where she discovered the Nashville Jazz Workshop. NJW has given Monica the opportunity to study under some of Nashville finest musicians including Lori Mechem, Roger Spencer, Sandra Dudley, Beegie Adair, Jeff Steinberg, Rod McGaha, Jim Ferguson, Roy Agee, Annie Sellick as well as create a family away from home.
On her debut album, Make Someone Happy, Monica is joined by the Lori Mechem Trio and special guest, Beegie Adair. This special project hosts many standard tunes with horn arrangements by Denis Solee and two original tunes by Lori Mechem, Beegie Adair and Hal Stephens. Produced by Lori Mechem, Roger Spencer and Sandra Dudley, the album captures the finest example of Monica’s musical capabilities at this point in her career. Make Someone Happy is receiving international airplay on jazz radio, Pandora, Music Choice and DMX to name a few.
Her second album, Monica Ramey and the Beegie Adair Trio, accentuates the undeniable chemistry of one of the world’s most successful jazz trios (Beegie Adair, piano; Roger Spencer, bass; Chris Brown, drums) with a vocalist (Ramey) who elegantly interweaves lush, lyrical sophistication to an already immaculate musical conversation. Produced by Adair and Spencer, the album also features on two of the trio and Ramey’s most endeared musical mates, jazz masters George Tidwell and Denis Sole, on several tracks. The result is the introduction and re-introduction of some of jazz’s most beloved and forgotten songs and the introduction of an original tune, co-written by Adair.
Her third album, Some Enchanted Evening, is her “dream project”; a piano/vocal duo album with Beegie Adair. The album, released in April 2016, features some of the greatest Broadway tunes ever written like “Someone To Watch Over Me”, “My Funny Valentine” and “Some Enchanted Evening”. This album was produced by Ms. Adair’s long-time producer, Jack Jezzro, and released by Green Hill Music and Burton Avenue Music. In 2019, the duo created a Christmas album, Some Enchanted Christmas, featuring holiday classics with Adair/Ramey’s signature sound and includes an original tune, co-written by Adair, “(Wouldn’t You Like) An Old Fashioned Christmas”.
2020, Ramey was featured on the Clifton Davis project, CLIFTON DAVIS AND THE BEEGIE ADAIR TRIO: NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE, singing the Henry Mancini classic “Two For the Road” with Davis. The project featured the Beegie Adair Trio and Take 6. During the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, Ramey began producing a YouTube series called “HAPPY HOUR with BEEGIE”, a bi-weekly broadcast featuring the jazz legend in virtual, casual conversations with musicians, friends, actors, writers and others. Some of the guests include Roy Blount Jr, the Beegie Adair Trio, Bill Crow, Billy Stritch, Dirk Blocker, Delbert McClinton, Clifton Davis, George Tidwell, Jeff Steinberg and Marvin Stamm. Ramey plans to produce the show until they are back on the road, post-pandemic or until it feels like work.
In addition to recording and performing, Monica manages and books pianist Beegie Adair while running her company, Adair Music Group, LLC. She is an executive producer on GROVER’S HAT PROJECT and TOO MARVELOUS FOR WORDS, both AMG music releases. She oversees daily operations and is currently working on several music and business projects/partnerships for the company.
Monica performs regularly in various venues, festivals and private events throughout the U.S. including annual appearances at the legendary Birdland, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Nashville Jazz Workshop and many others. When not performing, Monica enjoys spending time with her friends, her family, traveling and gardening. Monica supports various animal and human rights organizations.
About Lori Mechem: A respected jazz pianist, composer and educator, Lori, along with her husband Roger Spencer, has lived in the Nashville area since 1988. In addition to directing production shows and conducting musical theatre, she has performed with artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Red Holloway, Jimmy Smith, Cal Collins, Roy McCurdy, Terry Gibbs, Pete Christlieb, Edie Gorme, Bobby Militello, Kirk Whalum and Donna McElroy. A native of Anderson Indiana, Lori received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana.
Lori’s first CD, “Welcome to Brazil” was nominated for “Best Jazz Album of the Year” by the Nashville Music Awards in 1997. In 2003, Lori’s second CD, “Shiny Stockings, rose to #26 on the jazz charts. In 2005 she released a Brazilian Christmas album on Village Square Music. Since then she has released three more CD’s: “April in Paris” (a second Count Basie album), “The Dream of Life” (original meditation music), and “Return to Ipanema.”
About Roger Spencer: Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Roger has had an extensive musical career. He has performed, traveled and recorded with such artists as Les Brown and His Band of Renown, Harry James, Rosemary Clooney, Sam Butera, Tony Bennett, Ray Conniff, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Terry Gibbs, Buddy DeFranco and Carl Fontana. He and his wife Lori Mechem moved to Nashville in 1988 where he records, performs, and teaches. Roger attended Indiana University, studying under David Baker in Jazz Studies, and graduated from Indiana State with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Besides performing and recording with Lori, Roger is a longtime member of the Beegie Adair Trio, and is also on the faculty at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. Roger and Lori founded and direct the Nashville Jazz Workshop, where Roger is Artistic Director.
About Larry Aberman: Larry Aberman is a drummer whose career has taken him from the stage of Avery Fisher Hall as a percussion soloist with the NY Philharmonic to the studios of Memphis to record the Grammy-winning CD “Family Style” with Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan. Since 2003 Larry has been in Las Vegas performing with Cirque du Soleil in the hit show Zumanity at the New York New York Hotel and Casino. He is an adjunct professor of applied drum set at UNLV as well as a sub percussionist for the Las Vegas Philharmonic. He continues to compose and record drums remotely via the web for numerous album, TV and film projects. Larry cites Sterling Campbell, Charley Drayton, Brian Blade, Elvin Jones, Stewart Copeland, Steve Jordan, Amir ?Love Thompson and Al Foster among his main drumming influences.
About Andy Reiss: Andy Reiss grew up in San Francisco, Calif., playing in a wide variety of bands all through high school. Finding himself in a starving rock and roll band after high school, when given the opportunity of joining a showband and going on the road, he jumped on it. It was the beginning of a dozen years of playing in a wide variety of bands, ranging from honky tonk bands in bars and casinos to playing show tunes in theaters. He moved to Nashville in 1981, where Andy’s career took on several new dimensions.
One of Andy’s first contacts was the legendary producer/steel guitarist Pete Drake, who helped Andy understand the inner workings of the Nashville studio scene. His first Nashville session was an album for Slim Pickens, an album that had such Nashville greats as Drake, Charlie McCoy, Bob Moore, Pete Wade, Pig Robbins, the Jordanaires…talk about an education!! This led to spending the next 20 years in the Nashville studios, playing on hundreds of records including two that won Grammy awards: BJ Thomas’ “Amazing Grace”, and the Reba McEntire/Linda Davis number one hit “Does He Love You”. Andy plays with the renowned western swing band “The Time Jumpers” as well as with the Lori Mechem Quartet.